May 19 Screening in Immigrant Experiences Series to Feature Stories from Eastern European Immigrants

New York Women in Film & Television Announces:


Free May 19 Screening in Season Two of Series by Women Filmmakers to Feature Stories from Eastern European Immigrants

NEW YORK, NY (April 28, 2016) – Produced by New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT), Women Directors: Sharing Immigrant Experiences through Film is a screening series created to highlight and promote immigrant stories within New York City by women filmmakers. This five-month long series, designed to showcase a themed exhibition of short and feature-length films, will have its fourth screening on Thursday, May 19 from 7 – 8:30 PM at Finback Brewery (7801 77th Avenue) in Ridgewood, Queens.

NYWIFT has selected two films for its May 19 program: English, written, directed, produced by and starring Amanda Quaid; and Zaritsas, written, directed and co-produced by Elena Beloff.

The screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. The host venue, Finback Brewery, will provide a complimentary selection of their finest beers. All are invited to a post-screening reception of Eastern European cuisine. The program is free.

Funded by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley as part of the Cultural Immigrant Initiative of the New York City Council, the Immigrant Experiences series will produce one more screening in June 2016.

A free day-long documentary production workshop for immigrant and first generation women will take place on Saturday, May 7th at the Maspeth Town Hall.


Immigrant Experiences: Stories from Eastern European Immigrants – May 19 Program:

English (Written, Directed, Produced by and Starring Amanda Quaid) 
English follows an immigrant mother and her son as they chat over breakfast. Despite her wish that he speak Polish at home, he unconsciously slips into English. She walks him to school and watches as he is enveloped by his American friends. That night, when she tucks him in, she hears him talking in his sleep—in English—and she realizes there is now a part of him she will never understand. She must decide whether to catch up to him or be left behind forever. As so often happens in immigrant families, the children become, in a sense, the teacher. The film portrays an aspect of the immigrant experience that is deeply personal, while exploring the universal tension between autonomy and belonging. English is based on an interview with Polish immigrant Irena Zawadzka.

Zaritsas (Written, Directed and Co-Produced by Elena Beloff)
Zaritsas is a documentary film about American stereotyping of Russian women as mail-order brides and sex workers which dominated opinion in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Filmmaker Elena Beloff follows five Russian women for six months, interviewing each one in her environment: A rapper in a Sheepshead Bay Church; a saleswoman at the La Perla Madison Avenue Boutique; a model at home; a showgirl at a Brighton Beach Restaurant and an exotic dancer at Scores strip club. One of the women goes through a personal transformation as she leaves one life and begins another.

For more information or to register for the May 19 screening, please visit:


About New York Women in Film & Television:

New York Women in Film & Television supports women calling the shots in film, television and digital media. NYWIFT energizes the careers of women in entertainment by illuminating their achievements, providing training and professional development, and advocating for equality.

The preeminent entertainment industry association for women in New York, NYWIFT brings together nearly 2,000 women and men working both above and below the line. NYWIFT is part of a network of 40 women in film chapters worldwide, representing more than 10,000 members. NYWIFT produces over 50 innovative programs and special events annually, including the Muse Awards for Vision and Achievement, which honors women in front of and behind the camera, and Designing Women, which recognizes costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists in the industry.

NYWIFT is a nonprofit, 501c3 public charity, and contributions are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. It is governed by an 18-member board of directors. The board is elected by the membership.

More information can be found online at:

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Katie Chambers